Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription medications? Some
people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per
tablet. We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension a significant percentage of
drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients made in other
countries. In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies
really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of
the most popular drugs sold in America .
Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup: 30,306%
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup: 4,696%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup: 2,898%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%
Prilosec: 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup: 69,417%
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup: 224,973%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup: 51,185%
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup: 569,958%
Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup: 7,892%
Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63
Percent markup: 4,059%
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup: 11,821%
Since the cost of prescription drugs
is so outrageous, I thought everyone should know about this. It pays to shop
around! This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner. On Monday night, Steve
Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit , did a story
on generic drug prices gouging by pharmacies. He
found in his investigation that some of these generic
drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. So often we blame the
drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so. But in
this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves. For example
if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought
the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The pharmacist might tell you
that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you
think you are saving $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those
100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!
At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not
there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said
that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.
I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and
get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the
online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own
experience I had to use the drug Compazine which helps prevent nausea in chemo
used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked
the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of
my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08.
I would like to mention, that although Costco is a 'membership' type store, you
do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there as it is a federally
regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the
pharmacy, and they will let you in.
I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing
it into your own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail
Sharon L. Davis
U.S. Department of Commerce
Office Ph: 202-482-4458
Office Fax: 202-482-5480
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